by Ahmad Ahmadani
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government is likely to approve up to Rs2 per liter hike in the prices of petroleum oil and lubricants (POL) for the month of January, Pakistan Today learnt on Wednesday. Sources at petroleum ministry disclosed to this scribe that the government was expected to jack up the prices of petroleum products (POL) with the start of new year. They said Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has worked out upward revision in POL prices. According to sources, per liter price of petrol may face Rs1.28 increase, High Speed Diesel (HSD), which is mostly used in the transport and agriculture sectors, may face a hike of Rs1.31 per liter. Similarly, high octane price likely to go up by Rs2/liter; the price of kerosene oil, used for cooking purposes in remote areas where liquefied petroleum gas is not readily available, is expected to witness Rs1.46/liter hike during the next month. Likewise, the Light Diesel Oil (LDO), mainly used for industrial purposes, may record an increase of Rs1.47. The price of the High Octane Blended Component (HOBC), mainly used in luxury cars, is to get raise by Rs2 per litre with the start of 2017, they added. “Viewing political pressure, it is expected that the government will succumb to political pressure and will keep the prices of petroleum products unchanged as a new year gift to the masses,” sources said, adding, “The government has the capability to absorb the impact of the likely increase in oil prices by adjusting tax rates on petroleum products”. Sources further informed that OGRA would forward its working paper on future prices of POL products on 29th December to the ministry of petroleum and natural resources for further process, while final approval will be made by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif by the end of this month, they added.